Hi Readers! Just found a solid start-to-finish article in one of the directories that I write articles for regularly. It’s a good easy-to-read breakdown of toenail fungus. Thanks for the contribution to Ningthoujam Sandhyarani!
Toenail infections are [can become] dangerous as severe infections can cause pain and discomfort. Toenail fungus grows on the nail bed and feed on keratin (protein) that makes up the upper surface of the nails. Some of the causes of toenail fungus include poor hygiene of the nails, prolonged use of tight-fitting shoes, abnormal pH of the skin and through contact with a person infected with dermatophytes. A toenail fungus infection usually starts at the far end of the toenails, which later grows inward if not treated. In general, the big and little toes are more susceptible as compared to other nails. Let’s look at some other signs:
The first sign of toenail fungus is the color change of the nails. In the initial stages of infection, there may be presence of small white or yellow patches underneath the nails. As the infection progresses, the overall color of the infected toes change to dull yellow, brown or sometimes, black. White superficial onychomycosis is another type of toenail fungus that is less common. In this type of infection, the nail turns white in color instead of yellow or brown and the surface of the nails becomes dry, soft and powdery.
There is change in the texture of the infected nails and growth is hampered. The infected toes become thicker, chalky and brittle. Sometimes, they become so thick that it is difficult to cut the nails. There can be shedding of the nails and crumbling of the edges. In severe case, it can lead to complete loss of the nail. Underneath the infected toes, one can find keratinous debris that looks like dirt. This accumulation of debris causes the nail to swell. It can be cleaned only if proper treatment is done. Another noticeable sign of toenail fungus is foul smell from underneath the infected nails.
The symptoms of toenail fungus can disturb a person’s day-to-day activities. There may be difficulty in wearing shoes and also in walking. Toenail fungus is rare among children and is commonly seen among old people. A qualified physician or a podiatrist can diagnose it.
Treatment of toenail fungus is also done by following home remedies and medication, which can be topical or oral. It is always better to take proper care of your nails in order to avoid dermatophyte infections. Some of the tips on nail care and foot care are wearing clean socks (cotton socks if available) and breathable shoes and keeping the nails dry and clean as far as possible. Care should be taken while going to public gyms and swimming pools, as chances of getting infected from dermatophytes are high in these areas. It is advisable to wear slippers or any footwear before entering such public areas.
By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani